Thursday, January 24, 2013

5 Things: Club Crawl Host Lessons

Standard Hollywood club with things like mosquito-net bed with a go-go dancer in it. In the air. No big deal. 

I have now been working for the club crawl for a couple months now and surprisingly hate all clubs in Hollywood yet. In fact, I've realized that I genuinely enjoy them. Sure, I hate that it's okay when doormen can select who can go into the club based on the length of their dress and width of their waist, but luckily you can bypass all that nonsense with the club crawl.

I've also found out a lot of things about myself. For example, I am an expert yeller; leading a group of 50+ people whilst crossing Hollywood Blvd. will do that to someone. Consequently, certain comments like "Let's make this light!" and "Please don't get hit by a car!" are pretty standard on working nights. I also have a lot more patience than I originally thought– or so I've been told by a lot of people on the crawl. "I don't know how you can do this every week," crawlers have told me after someone does something stupid like pass around jello shots in public. But it's not that bad– I swear. I've learned to take everything with a grain of salt, how to be firm but nice, strict but playful. In other words, I'll make sure you get your butt outside by 11:40 for the next club, but I'll still dance with you on stage before.

It also turns out that the motto "not my problem" that was so popular with my friends and I in undergrad also applies to the club crawl too. A girl wore 5-inch heels and can't walk in them? Not my problem. A guy has an expired license? Not my problem. A bachelorette's butt cheeks are hanging out of her dress? Not my problem, but I'll pull it down for her anyway, and tell her friends to watch over her in case any predators descend.

Aside from the chaos, drunkenness and drama, this job is pretty damn spectacular and I am amazed that I even get paid for this. It's like being a semi-babysitter for drunks, which kind of throws all normal sense of responsibility out the window. My fellows hosts have also been awesome. Even within these first short months I have learned a lot from them, in addition to what I've observed through trial and error. This is what I've come up with:

1. Have a distraction bottle. In the case that you have bottle service, make sure you have an empty bottle and one that actually has liquor in it. The distraction bottle is for when mooching, alcoholic-hungry randos come up and you can hold it up and say "Sorry, it's empty!" But when the rest of your friends come over, you hold up the actual drinking bottle and say "Let's party!"

2. Pick a fun group to hang out with the entire night.  Usually I tend to gravitate to a group of women that are out for girls night, usually for a birthday and are just looking to dance in a circle and have fun. They aren't really trying to mac on guys and tend to be very accepting to a dancing Asian girl leading the party. They will wait in line with you to the bathroom and hide your jacket behind the DJ booth when you are on the dance floor. They are my go-to group because they are loyal and it is WAY more interesting to hang out with a crowd of girls rather than just one person at a club. On down nights there will not be such a thing as a "fun group," in which case I will stick to the other hosts, which is just as good.

3. Don't bring money. I mean it. No wallet, cash or credit. I've taken on the habit of just bringing my ID and phone to work. Because sometimes you get a really stressful night where you want to buy extra drinks and just slam some down, or you get really hungry (which I am pretty much every night) and you contemplate buying Juicy Burger or those sketchy hot dogs from vendors on the side of the street. But you don't need it. You don't need that 2am slice of pizza, and you don't need that $14 drink when we get free drink tickets anyways. So I don't bring anything to tempt myself or that will make me spend the money that I'm making.

4. When alone, look like you are mad as hell. This technique has proven very effective in clubs filled with creepers and walking back home alone Friday and Saturday nights. Usually I walk with headphones, which is the first sign of "don't talk to me," but unfortunately headphones don't fit inside club dresses. So instead I have perfected a face that says "I will punch anyone that comes within two inches of me" as an alternative. Boom: street harassment-free walk home.

5. Sweet talk everyone. Sweet talk the doormen when they are getting frustrated with the massive group of people that you just brought to their door, sweet talk the club crawl when they are getting rowdy, sweet talk the managers for free drink tickets, and sweet talk the bartenders so you can get a drink faster. Works without fail.

And really, just have fun. Because there is no reason to be a club crawl host and NOT have fun. That's basically what the only job requirement.

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